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A Westminster Abbey Admission Ticket to the Coronation of George IV, 1821
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A Westminster Abbey Admission Ticket to the Coronation of George IV, 1821

Measurements: Overall: 18.5cm (11in) x 36cm (14in)

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Printed inks on embossed paper. An example of the security printing evolved by Sir William Congreve, the George IV coronation tickets were commissioned from printer James Whiting and and engraved Robert Branston to show the King seated on throne with classical maidens, laurels, and coat of arms, all within a blind stamped border of roses, shamrocks and thistles, with a portcullis at each corner. Produced by Dobbs & Kidd, embossers, print publishers and 'ornamental stationers to the King'. This example numbered ‘No. 1278’. Contained in glazed period maple frame with gilt slip.

Napoleon's coronation as Emperor of France on 2 December 1804 had been a lavish affair and George IV  was determined that his coronation should outshine that of the deposed emperor. The trouble taken over the admission tickets is indicative of the lavish spending. Parliament voted £100,000 for the costs in 1820, which was supplemented by a further sum of £138,238.0s.2d paid 'out of Money received from France on Account of pecuniary Indemnity, under Treaty, Anno 1815', making it the most expensive coronation ever held in Britain.

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